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Working with multimedia presents several major challenges:
DirectShow is designed to address each of these challenges. Its main design goal is to simplify the task of creating multimedia applications on the Windows platform by isolating applications from the complexities of data transports, hardware differences, and synchronization issues.
To achieve the throughput necessary for streaming video and audio, DirectShow uses DirectDraw and DirectSound to render data efficiently to the system's sound and graphics cards. Synchronization is achieved by encapsulating the multimedia data in time-stamped media samples. To handle the variety of sources, formats, and hardware devices, DirectShow uses a modular architecture in which operating system components called filterscan be mixed and matched to provide support for many different scenarios.
DirectShow includes filters that support for codecs written for the Audio Compression Manager (ACM) and Video Compression Manager (VCM) interfaces.
DirectShow enables applications to play files and streams from various sources, including local files and remote files on a network. DirectShow has native compressors and decompressors for some file formats, and many third-party hardware and software decoders are compatible with DirectShow. In addition, DirectShow supports legacy VfW codecs based on the Video Compression Manager (VCM) and Audio Compression Manager (ACM) interfaces. Playback makes full use of DirectDraw hardware acceleration and DirectSound capabilities when the hardware supports it.
Last updated on Tuesday, May 18, 2004